#BookReview: The Color of Your Voice by Daniel Newwyn @DanielNewwyn @bookroar_tweets
Hi everyone! Today, I have a book review for an author new to me, Daniel Newwyn. The blurb appealed to me, and I adore the book cover and story premise >>>
What happens when a call girl and a death row prisoner fall in love?
Violet Pham can see sounds. The brown chirps of the sparrows dance with the colors of their feathers. The green blobs from her mother weave into her squeaky berates.
She believes she was born to become a painter but after being labeled as a burden by everyone around her, she questions that belief. The colors around the sounds become a curse rather than a gift. With her future unsettled and her family mired in debt, there is only one solution: run away from everything.
That’s when she meets Turner Nguyen. He’s everything she wishes she could be—an iron will and a flint heart. There’s only one thing wrong with him. He’s at the center of gang wars, uses his fists to collect debts, and makes his money off the addiction of others.
Soon, the sound of his words paints Violet’s world with the ugly shade of disaster. Where will they go from here?
‘The Color of Your Voice’ is a tragic, depressing love story that speaks to the lows of human experience. It deals with themes of self-esteem, desperation, and salvation. If this is your cup of tea, then this book is for you.
Disclaimer: ‘The Color of Your Voice’ is a novella set in Vietnam, dealing with heavy themes such as prostitution, drug trafficking, and depression. The author in no way encourages or glorifies prostitution and drug trafficking.
’The old prison jailer unlocked the cell. The man in the corner looked up at him, his face contemptuous, hair shaggy, and eyes devoid of life. The features that once characterized the respected and fearsome gang enforcer—slick black hair, freckled cheeks, and the sun in his eyes—had long since passed.’
From these opening lines the book grabbed my attention, and I read it in one sitting. The story premise of: ‘What happens when a call girl and a death row prisoner fall in love?’ piqued my interest, so I added this novel to my Kindle Unlimited library. The author, Daniel Newwyn, is new to me, and I’m glad I gave The Color of Your Voice a chance.
While my Kindle pages number 235, the book is a much shorter read. I believe this is down to formatting issues where way too many blank lines lie between the paragraphs. The story is written like a detailed outline and has vast potential for development into a deep and moving novel rather than the novella it is with the narrative sort of stop-start and switching scenes just when things get deep or interesting. Also, spelling issues abound and suggest that English may be the writer’s second language. The book could benefit immensely from a professional edit and proofread.
With all of that said, Mr Newwyn displays great potential for improvement and has evident talent for storytelling. With more practice and experience, I can see him becoming a world-class author one day. His writing is wonderfully descriptive, and here are a few lines which stood out for me …
‘… being summoned meant that even if it was raining like the sky hadn’t pissed for years, you were going to strap on your boots, put on a raincoat, and barge outside against the wind.’
‘I was young and naïve, you know, like every fifteen-year-old in the world with an ego the size of the Earth, thinking their will is the Sun and the world dances around their gravitational force.’
‘Violet had never cried in her life. But that day, she burst into tears. She fell on the ground and cried as though her body contained only tears, as though crying were in her blood, as though it were her lifeline.’
Despite the brevity of the writing, I connected with both the main characters. I loved that Violet could see sounds, and the depiction of the sound-colours was wonderfully done. The story switches between Violet and Turner as well as timeframes, moving back and forth between 2011 and 2013, and finally ending at 2017.
The denouement tied off all the threads and brought things to a close nicely. While the book has possible triggers around an abusive mother, prostitution, and gangster violence, it is a moving and gripping read which leaves room for hope and love, even though redemption isn’t on offer for everyone. I give The Color of Your Voice a soft 4 stars and would have no problems upgrading that to 5 with a bit of polishing and refining.
On a final note, I adore the book cover and wish the author luck in his writing career. I believe this book will stay with me for a long time.
NOTE ON RATINGS: I consider a 3-star rating a positive review. Picky about which books I give 5 stars to, I reserve this highest rating for the stories I find stunning and which moved me.
5 STARS: IT WAS AMAZING! I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN! — Highly Recommended.
4 STARS: I WOULD PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER — Go read this book.
3 STARS: IT WAS GOOD! — An okay read. Didn’t love it. Didn’t hate it.
2 STARS: I MAY HAVE LIKED A FEW THINGS —Lacking in some areas: writing, characterisation, and/or problematic plot lines.
1 STAR: NOT MY CUP OF TEA —Lots of issues with this book.
I’d love to hear what you think of this review. Thanks for stopping by 🙂
For anyone interested, here are the Amazon links …